Saturday, July 8, 2017


now i know this is super late. i was busy with finals and making exciting plans for my big central european adventure in the fall. it has been creeping up fast! anyhoo, we are traveling back in time to the second half of my trip in washington dc in april. i knew i wanted to go back to rock creek park, a national park in the middle of the city. this was one of my favorite places to visit when i lived in dc. also, there are some cool diplomats' homes along the way. luckily it was a sunny, but cool day.

the area of the park that we visited has pierce mill. it was closed (it really is not open much), but it was nice to revisit. this was my favorite quiet place when i lived here.

to walk back to the metro station, i decided to take a trail. i do not know why i never bothered when i lived here. it is a fun little trail where you have to jump rocks and walk on logs to get over the little creek. it was such an enjoyable little stroll.

this looks so posed, but i promise you it is not.

the next stop was the chesapeake & ohio canal (c. 1831), which was used to transport cargo until 1924. it's a nice little walk with interesting, old industrial buildings. unfortunately, the water was drained, but there was a nonimpressive puddle?

we also ate at dean & delucas, a little gourmet marketplace. it is a bit pricey, but i really do enjoy it. i visited a few times when i lived in dc. i had a samosa, iced latte, and a coffee dessert.

we also visited the old stone house (c. 1765) in georgetown. it is the oldest building in the city (and pre-revolutionary!)

we then made our way towards the new smithsonian, the national museum of african american history & culture. as i have said before, this was part of reason i wanted to revisit. dummy me realized too late i had to score tickets months in advance. the week before my trip, tickets were sold out until july! every morning, 5 tickets are released for certain times same day. the past 2 days i woke up at 7 to try, but failed. luckily a worker at the hostel said he once had asked one of the workers if he could get in and they let him. i attempted to try this method.

when we reached the museum, i asked one of the workers if it was in any way possible to get in and she answered, nothing is impossible. that optimism. we were corralled to a little walkway where a few other people were waiting. we waited for about 45 minutes with a few people ahead slowly being let in. fortunately for us, over 20 people in a tour group did not show up. i jumped for joy. 

my favorite art piece.

the exhibit on the founding fathers and slavery.

probably my favorite artifact. it really speaks for itself. the person who donated this, it was her grandmothers.

a slave cabin from south carolina.

crazy facts about angola: 1) the property was once a few plantations, and 2) it was named after the area of africa that most slaves came from. so much bad decision making.

man it was so uncomfortably busy, but i am so glad i able to even just get in the building. this was definitely the highlight of the trip for me. and it was exciting to see how far people travelled to experience the museum. also, it was cool to see how happy people were to learn and also see important objects, concepts, and events of their own life being reflected in a museum to share with others. true story: i tried to get an internship with the museum when they were still putting it together. clearly i did not get it.

broken glass from the 16th street baptist church. in 1963, 4 little girls died when white supremacists bombed the church.

a tower from angola penitentiary.

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union station.

the next day i did not have anything planned, but my dad wanted to go to arlington national cemetery. i forgot just how big and hilly it is. sooo many hills and it was the warmest day.

a little treasure found between the hostel and union station

governor/justice earl warren, a california legend. may not have been perfect, but was ahead of his time.

robert f. kennedy's grave. i wonder what would have happened if he became president?

the arlington house, where robert e. lee, the general of the confederates, lived.

the view from the highest hill. you can see the washington monument, lincoln memorial, capitol building, old post office, and pentagon (not pictured).

our day ended a bit early and we were already close to the airport, so we called it a day. 

my cute donut at the airport.

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now for a little review for the hostel we stayed at. i will be honest it was not my favorite, but the price (and availability) for a private room was really good (especially for the area). the whole time i lived in the city, i don't think i ever visited the NE quadrant. i decided to stay here because it was close to union station. the walk to the station was always really pleasant (so many quaint homes).

i will say, it was a bit of a party hostel. i am boring and like the quiet, and the common areas were never quiet. the rooms were, but we could not get wifi on the 3rd floor. the private room was nice, the only problem was there was this weird window that if someone was in the bathroom next door, the light would shine through. really, the biggest complaint is the bathrooms. there were not many and one of the showers did not work. overall, this did not bother me too much. i'm easy to please and understand you get what you pay for. overall, things could be better, but i enjoyed my stay

i will say, the workers were very nice and without one of their comments on how to get in the new smithsonian, i would not have thought nor have the courage to follow through. so thank you stranger.

i really do like how they wrote a welcome note for me. i am a sucker for this kind of stuff.

another view of our room

the view from my top bunk. we were next to a church, so i would hear the bells ring every once in awhile. so pleasant :)

i joked that it was nice of them to hang a picture of me and my dad.

now for a song. i am continuing the musical theme. i have been so enamored with broadway. recently i watched the great comet & in the heights on repeat. this time, i am choosing my absolute favorite song from the great comet, 'no one else.' so so beautiful and i love the piano in this. oh by the way i am hoping to buy a digital piano by the end of the year (i already got rid of a dresser and a 3rd of my clothes to make room). i highly recommend watching a bootleg of this musical (there is always a way online). the best way to describe it is a modern electro/pop/musical about tolstoy's war and peace. it's a wonderful clusterfuck. some honorable mentions are 'the duel,' 'charming,' 'natasha & the bolkonsky's,' and 'in my house.' enjoy!